Fibrosis occurs in many chronic diseases with lymphatic vascular insufficiency (e.g., kidney disease, tumors, and lymphedema). New lymphatic capillary growth can be triggered by fibrosis‐related tissue stiffening and soluble factors, but questions remain for how related biomechanical, biophysical, and biochemical cues affect lymphatic vascular growth and function. The current preclinical standard for studying lymphatics is animal modeling, but in vitro and in vivo outcomes often do not align. In vitro models can also be limited in their ability to separate vascular growth and function as individual outcomes, and fibrosis is not traditionally included in model design. Tissue engineering provides an opportunity to address in vitro limitations and mimic microenvironmental features that impact lymphatic vasculature. This review discusses fibrosis‐related lymphatic vascular growth and function in disease and the current state of in vitro lymphatic vascular models while highlighting relevant knowledge gaps. Additional insights into the future of in vitro lymphatic vascular models demonstrate how prioritizing fibrosis alongside lymphatics will help capture the complexity and dynamics of lymphatics in disease. Overall, this review aims to emphasize that an advanced understanding of lymphatics within a fibrotic disease—enabled through more accurate preclinical modeling—will significantly impact therapeutic development toward restoring lymphatic vessel growth and function in patients.
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